Last Updated on March 3, 2023 by Awais Aftab
At some point in the past couple of months, you may have opened Instagram and noticed something disturbing: no Instagram likes! If this massive change disturbed you, don’t be alarmed. There is a reasonable explanation.
In 2019, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri started thinking about how he could make his social media platform better for its users’ mental health.
Social media has become an integral part of most people’s lives. As these platforms have gotten more popular, everyone has become more concerned about how they affect mental health, self-esteem, and more.
Keep reading, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Instagram’s new “hidden likes” policy, healthy social media use, and preserving your mental wellbeing.
New Instagram Likes Policy
In 2019, Instagram started testing out a bold idea. The image-sharing platform, which revolved around likes and comments since its conception, decided to try getting rid of likes.
Well, Instagram isn’t quite getting rid of likes; but, it is making them invisible.
Instead of being able to see the number of likes on a photo, you will now only be able to see the names of one or two people who liked it. The actual number of likes will be hidden.
Instagram tested this feature in a few different countries before rolling it out across the entire platform. This update has appeared in a few slightly different versions.
In one test, Instagram users were allowed to choose whether or not likes would be displayed on their photos. In another, likes disappeared for everyone.
The new policy could drastically change the way many people use Instagram. Since the platform became widely popular, Instagram likes have been a valuable type of social currency.
Many people are wondering what will become of Instagram influencer culture if this update is here to stay. The prospect of hidden likes certainly gives us a lot to think about.
Why No Instagram Likes?
About 70% of adults use social media. For young adults, that number is even higher; about 86%. Many people question whether or not social media is good for our collective mental health.
Of course, there are many great things about social media, especially Instagram. Instagram allows us to stay connected to people all over the world, find all sorts of inspiration, and share valuable information.
However, there’s no denying that your Instagram profile can sometimes harm your mental health.
When people post on Instagram, they show you a carefully curated version of their life. They don’t show you their imperfections, struggles, or insecurities.
While you scroll through Instagram, you may be comparing yourself (and all of your imperfections) to an airbrushed, dishonest version of someone else. This can create highly unrealistic standards that you feel like you are failing to meet.
This insecurity can affect everyone differently. Some people may not find their self-esteem affected by Instagram. Some people, however, may find themselves feeling severely depressed when they look at their feed.
These are the kinds of mental health concerns that Instagram hopes to address with their new likes policy. By cutting the problem off at its source, Instagram hopes to help its users stop making these harmful comparisons.
How Are Instagram Users Reacting?
Reactions to Instagram’s hidden likes have been a mixed bag. Many mental health advocates are thrilled about it, though we have yet to see how much the update actually helps.
These advocates are optimistic that everyday Instagram users will be able to have a healthier relationship with the app than they could before. Without likes, they say, everyone can just sit back and have fun on the app.
One of the biggest arguments against the update, however, is that some people don’t just use Instagram for fun. For some people, the platform is their livelihood and likes are the fruits of their labor.
Instagram influencing and marketing has become one of the app’s major functions. It is difficult to know how the influencer industry will be forced to change in light of this update.
Sure, advertisers could still pay influencers to post about their products, but will the marketing be as effective if no one can see how many people liked the photo?
No one knows for sure, at least not yet. But people who make a living via Instagram are understandably concerned about hidden likes.
This forces us to examine the inherent dissonance of Instagram; how do we deal with a website that is half-social media, half-workplace?
Can I Get Likes Back?
You may be wondering if there is any way to get around this policy. Can you get your likes back, or boost your engagement in other ways?
Fortunately, there are still ways to boost your Instagram engagement via likes. This is especially important if you run a business page on Instagram or are an aspiring influencer.
Even though your likes will no longer be visible, they can still affect how many people see your posts. Posts with a lot of likes will still get more algorithmic exposure than other posts.
If you want your posts to end up on the Instagram explore page, for example, you should still focus on getting likes and comments.
You can do this through organic engagement, or you can purchase likes through services such as like me for instagram.
Even though people may not be able to see how many likes you’ve gotten, they will still be exposed to your posts at a higher rate. Though it is scary to be an Instagram marketer right now, there are definitely still ways to play the algorithm to your advantage.
Will the Policy Change?
As you contemplate the future of Instagram, remember that social media websites are often quick to reverse unpopular updates. If enough people on an app complain about something, it will probably go away.
For instance, Twitter recently added “fleets” (a feature similar to Instagram stories) to the app, only to take them away a couple of months later due to backlash.
Social media sites are generally there to serve their users, not the other way around. If most Instagram users end up disliking the change, it isn’t likely to stick around.
Of course, if the update achieves its intended effect and makes people happier, it is probably going to stay. Though this may complicate some people’s lives, Instagram marketing, and influencer culture, will likely be able to adapt to the change.
Will This Policy Really Change Our Social Media Use?
Some critics of this new policy question whether or not hiding likes will actually help mental health. It’s a nice gesture, they say, but it may not actually cause much to change.
In a trial where Instagram allowed users to choose to hide likes, most people found that the option had very little impact on their mental wellbeing.
It could be that people will always find ways to compare themselves to others online, regardless of whether or not likes are visible.
However, it is worth noting that in this trial, users could choose to turn off likes. They were not forced to hide them.
Likely, the same people who find that Instagram hurts their self-esteem may not have the self-awareness to turn off their own likes. Only time will tell us how much this update can truly help people.
How Else Can We Make Social Media Healthier?
There are many ways to make social media use healthier for everyone, regardless of whether or not this Instagram update sticks around. It is quite understandable to be disturbed by hidden likes, but if you feel that way, you should at least try to figure out why.
What sounds more important to you: hiding likes, or being able to control your feelings about those likes? There’s a chance it may be the latter.
Instead of putting all of the onus on social media platforms to remove likes, perhaps we should be doing our best to detach ourselves from the importance of how many likes we get.
The ultimate goal of this Instagram update is to help people use the app for its original intended purpose: having fun and sharing things with their friends and family.
Even if Instagram likes revert to their original state, there will probably still be a valuable lesson we can learn from this experiment.
Examine the Way You Relate to Social Media
Living in a world with no Instagram likes might still sound a bit crazy to you, and that’s okay. The truth is, we all must examine our relationship to social media, regardless of whether or not this new policy sticks around.
Everyone may be able to benefit from detaching themselves a bit from social media. However, that may work better as a personal change than as a policy change. Only time will tell.
For more tips on internet and social media use, check out the rest of our blog!
Read more: Best Ways to Get Instagram Followers for Your Business
Why am I not getting likes on Instagram?
There could be several reasons why you are not getting likes on Instagram. First, consider the quality of the content you are posting. Are your images and videos visually appealing, creative, and engaging? If not, it may be time to step up your game and invest more effort into creating content that resonates with your audience. Additionally, consider the timing and frequency of your posts. Are you posting at a time when your followers are most active, or are you spamming their feeds with too many posts in a short period of time? Both of these factors can impact the level of engagement you receive.
Another reason for low engagement could be the lack of hashtags or relevant tags in your posts. Hashtags help users discover your content, and including them in your posts can increase visibility and reach. Take the time to research and use relevant and popular hashtags in your niche to maximize your chances of being discovered. Finally, consider the possibility that your content is not reaching your target audience. Try reaching out to similar accounts or using paid promotion to reach a wider audience. Ultimately, building an engaged following on Instagram takes time, effort, and strategy, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.